FANDOM


06

Top Combine (至上励合) is a Chinese Mandopop idol group, with 4 members, formed by and under the management of eeMedia. The group initially had 5 members: Bird Zhang, Caesar Li, Mars Ma, Kenny Liu, and Tanas Kim.

With the exception of Tanas, the other four members of Top Combine were all 2007 contestants from China's top singing competition Super Boy (快乐男声), the male counterpart of Super Girl (快乐女声). They debuted in October 2008 with a performance of their first single, "Arrival" (降临).

Caesar left the group in 2012 due his interest of acting, leaving the group with only four members. In 2016, Tanas returned to South Korea for military enlistment.

ProfileEdit

Bird (张远; Zhang Yuan)

  • Date of birth: 2 June 1985 (1985-06-02) (age 32)
  • Birthplace: Chuzhou, Anhui, China

Caesar (李茂; Li Mao)

  • Date of birth: 2 June 1986 (1986-06-02) (age 31)
  • Birthplace: Hefei, Anhui, China

Mars (马雪阳; Ma Xueyang)

Kenny (刘洲成; Liu Zhoucheng)

Tanas (金恩圣; Jin Ensheng; 김은성; Kim Eun-sung)

  • Date of birth: 2 June 1988 (1988-06-02) (age 29)
  • Birthplace: Daegu, South Korea

HistoryEdit

2007: The Super Boy competition and formationEdit

Due to the success of the predecessor Super Girl, Hunan TV and record label eeMedia decided to produce a male counterpart of the contest. Deemed China's version of American Idol, Super Boy's first broadcast was on May 25, 2007. Zhang Yuan, representing Nanjing, snatched ninth place in the contest overall, successfully entering the top ten of the finalists round. Although Li Mao of Nanjing, Ma Xueyang of Chengdu, Liu Zhoucheng of Guangzhou, and Gao Wei of Changsha were all eliminated before the final round, it had already been proposed by eeMedia for these four contestants to unite as one vocal group. Contestant Yang Fan of Jinan was to join the group as well, but was soon removed from the group. After a few test recordings with the four potential members, eeMedia signed them to record contracts, temporarily being added to a group named "Happy Boy Group". Originally, finalist Zhang Yuan was to debut in a thirteen-member vocal touring group called "Happy Top 13", along with the other top thirteen finalists of Super Boy. However, the plan sounded tedious and hence was discarded. Instead, Zhang Yuan was placed as the fifth and last member of the "Happy Boy Group". That same month, the five of them recorded their pre-debut single "Kiss", and performed it at the Super Boy concert in Shanghai.

With the support of South Korea's DoReMi Media, the group was sent in October 2007 to South Korea to undergo vigorous vocal and dance training. Fascinated by the Korean music industry, it was rumored that eeMedia would replace a member from the "Happy Boy Group" with a Korean member, hoping for the group to make a future debut in Korea. For a while, the Chinese media speculated that Zhang Yuan was to be replaced due to his late addition to the group in September 2007. Later, eeMedia announced that the rumors of a line-up change were true, and Gao Wei was to be replaced with an anonymous member in early 2008.

The "Happy Boy Group" returned to China in April 2008 with the announcement of the new member Kim Eun-sung, a Korean trainee under DoRreMi Media who had replaced Gao Wei. The addition of Kim in the group caused the group's popularity to rise in Korea, even accepting interviews from Korea's KBS channel.

Right before they recorded their debut single, the group decided on the name Zhi Shang Li He (至上励合), literally meaning "supreme combination". The group's English name was finalized to Top Combine and the members also chose English stage names for themselves. Zhang Yuan became Bird, Li Mao became Caesar, Ma Xueyang became Mars, Liu Zhoucheng became Kenny, and Kim Eun-sung became Tanas. Nonetheless, all five members kept the characters of their birth names as their Chinese stage names. Jin Ensheng, the Chinese counterpart to Kim Eun-sung's name in hanja, became his Chinese stage name.

2008: Arrival debut and initial successEdit

Promoted as "China's Number One Motivational Boy Band" (中国第一励志天团), Top Combine's debut was both successful and controversial. The group's first single "Arrival" (降临) made its debut global broadcast in Music Radio: China's Top 10 Charts on September 8, 2008, just six days after their official debut. The single peaked at #3 on the charts. While the single was received with much success, the release of the single's corresponding music video on September 20, 2008 earned some ire the first few months of their debut.

On October 9, 2008, Top Combine officially debuted on the program Day Day Up (天天向上), performing "Arrival". Their debut EP, Arrival, was released in different provinces of China starting from October 26, 2008. The EP sold very well in China, and the group held their first fan meeting with their fan club "Seraphim" on November 16, 2008.

The music video of "Cotton Candy", the group's second promotional single, was released in early December 2008. "Cotton Candy" was composed and written by Mars, who composed the piece with his electric guitar and violin. The single charted within then top ten of over five different music charts, peaking at #2, and achieving more popularity than their first single.

Top Combine was invited to perform the opening act of the Southeast Explosive Music Awards on November 15, 2008. On November 17, they received their first award at the 9+2 Music Awards.

2009-2011: Grandness Equal to Heaven, first concert, and Lucky BoysEdit

On December 13, 2009, Top Combine released their second record Grandness Equal to Heaven (Chinese: 齐天大盛), the name of which is a pun on the name "Great Sage Equal to Heaven" (Chinese: 齐天大圣). The album, which is their only full-studio release to date, displayed a blend of Chinese classical instruments and Western rhythms. Four of the songs on the album were composed by Mars, and the other four group members contributed to the lyrics for another song each.

In September 2010, Top Combine traveled to the United States to receive training and to record two singles with American producer Nicholas Cooper for their third studio release, Lucky Boys. While there, the group made an appearance on Los Angeles TV station KTLA's Morning Show, becoming the first Chinese musicians, and the second Chinese artiste after Jackie Chan, to be invited to the show. Their appearance happened to be preceded by a speech from United States president Barack Obama, which caused the live broadcast of Top Combine's performance of "This I Promise You" to be delayed 20 minutes.

After revealing two of their singles on Up Every Day (Chinese: 天天向上) in December 2010, Top Combine held their first ever concert. The "Spotlight" (Chinese: 主角) Concert was named after their recently released single and was held in the Century Theatre (Chinese: 世纪剧院) in Beijing on December 18, 2010.

On April 28, 2011, Top Combine released Lucky Boys, which contained the two songs they had recorded in America at Westlake Recording Studios, as well as three other songs. As with their first album release, Mars composed one of the singles for Lucky Boys.

2012: Caesar's Departure and Luck, You Are HereEdit

In June 2012, rumors began to spread that Caesar had left Top Combine, due to a promotional poster that featured the other four members without Caesar. At the time Caesar was heavily involved in stage acting and other events, and so was not with the other group members as often. Top Combine's manager refuted any rumors that the group would disband, explaining that Caesar did not appear on the poster because he would not be able to attend the concert that the poster was promoting.

On September 20, 2012, Caesar announced that he would be leaving Top Combine to pursue a solo career in acting. The decision was made after much consideration with his group members and with his company. The other four members expressed their support of his decision on their Weibo accounts.There are no plans to find a new member to replace Caesar.

On October 29, 2012, Top Combine released their fourth record, Luck, You Are Here (Chinese: 还好有你在), their first album after Caesar's departure. The EP was described as their first work in which they pulled away from the Korean and Japanese pop influences that had characterized their previous music, thus allowing them to exhibit a more local and creative quality. The five songs on the album were all composed by Mars, and one of the songs was used as the theme song for Banana Boy (Chinese: 成人记), a TV drama in which Caesar acted that began airing in November 2012.

DiscographyEdit

AlbumEdit

Mini AlbumEdit

SingleEdit

Other InformationEdit

AwardsEdit

2008
  • Best Dance Group, 9+2 Music Awards
  • Most Popular Group Online, 9+2 Music Awards
  • Most Popular Newcomer Band, 9+2 Music Awards
2009
  • Golden Hit 2008, Beijing Pop Music Awards: "Cotton Candy"
  • Baidu Most Searched New Group Award

External LinksEdit

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.